Sorvete de Carambola
Some days, Chinatown could pass for Miami’s Little Havana. I have better luck finding tropical produce there than some of the smaller bodegas or upscale markets where a few tiny specimens are overpriced and undersold. A couple of weeks ago, I took the long way home, working my way through the East Village going along the Bowery to Canal St. where the fruit carts are piled high with pitayas, sapotes, and fresh guavas. Coming across a stack of carambola, I heard music.
Bright gold with a few green ridges, they were super-hero plump and ready to zoom off the cart or at least turn a cartwheel. I never seemed to find them when I’m looking, so I grabbed a few to make the sorvete de carambola I’d seen in Christopher Idone’s Brazil: A Cook’s Tour. A recent demo at the FCI by Brazilian chef Leticia Moreinos Schwartz also had me looking for ways to incorporate cachaça as an ingredient and I loved his suggestion to use a small amount of alcohol for smoother sorbets and ice creams. The recipe couldn’t have been simpler-just pureed fruit combined with simple syrup and quickly frozen. Ice cold and sweet like honey it was worth the trip.Sorvete de Carambola/Star Fruit Sorbet
Barely adapted from Christopher Idone’s Brazil: A Cook’s Tour. I had been planning on making sorvete de carambola since I came across
1 cup sugar
3/4 cups water
2 1/2 pounds carambola (star fruit), brown parts removed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon cachaça or white rum
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine sugar with 3/4 cups water and boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Puree carambola in a blender until smooth. Strain into a large mixing bowl, pressing down on the fruit to extract as much juice as possible. Stir in cool syrup and cachaça and chill until cold, at least two hours or overnight. Process carambola mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer sorbet to a covered container and freeze until ready to serve. Top with fresh fruit.